You may not have given a lot of thought to how much data the elementary school is collecting on your kid, but companies like Knewton certainly are. A big data analytic platform that partners with education companies like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Sesame Workshop, Knewton claims to collect between 5 and 10 million data points per student per day. For comparison’s sake, Google might get a dozen points per session. Turns out, your kids are taking cookies from strangers.
Knewton is just one example. As the following infographic makes clear, from the first bus ride on the first day of kindergarten, your kids generate gobs of data that are increasingly collected, mined and shared.
The overall security of the data, and your control over it, varies widely from district to district and even school to school, but there are a few things you can do to be more engaged in the process:
- Figure out what student data your state collects.
- Familiarize yourself with The Federal Educational Rights And Privacy Act, which provides various protections like the right to correct errors in school records or to opt out of some kinds of data sharing.
- Ask your kid’s teacher what sort of educational apps and programs are being used in the classroom and determine if they fit with the school’s policies. Don’t assume everything a teacher uses is cleared by the administration.
If Knewton is to be believed, we’re headed toward a future of individualized school curriculums that update in real time to optimize educational outcomes, which sounds awesome. In the meantime, treat your kid’s data the same way you treat your kid.